Houston Community News >> Antioxidants May Stop Fat Cell Formation

12/6/2007 -- New research from Taiwan suggests that antioxidants put a halt to fat cell formation, at least in a laboratory.

In the study, published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, 15 phenolic acids and six flavonoids were exposed to mouse cells. Phenolic acids and flavonoids are classes of potent plant chemicals that exert multiple health benefits as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. The researchers wanted to see if these antioxidants would have an affect on the formation of triglycerides, the chemical form in which most fat exists in food and in the body.

Sure enough, they did. Two antioxidants in particular, o-coumaric acid and rutin, were found to inhibit the creation of triglycerides by 61 percent and 83 percent, respectively. Not only that, these same two antioxidants also increased the levels of a protein called adinopectin. This protein has been found to have protective effects against atherosclerosis and, even more to the point, helps cells become more sensitive to insulin. Insulin insensitivity is a huge factor in diabetes, metabolic syndrome and often in obesity.

Coumaric acid is just one of many bioactive compounds found in such foods as grapes. Look for dark varieties with thick skins. Also, try eating them seeds and all. It's an acquired taste, I know. But the seeds are an extraordinary source of nutritional phytochemicals, so much so that grape seed extract is sold as a powerful nutritional supplement. You'll get used to it, and it's totally worth the effort. I don't even notice the seeds anymore when I chew on some grapes.

Rutin is found in buckwheat seeds, fruits and fruit rinds, especially the citrus fruits. Again, that white stuff that we throw away that surrounds the orange and grapefruit is a nutritional bonanza. Eat as much of it as possible when eating the fruit, or throw the whole thing (with as much of the rind as you like) into a juicer to get the maximum value.

(Contributed by American Chronicle)